Here in America, like most of the world we have lost our ability, willingness, and perhaps knowledge of how to exist closely to our homes. We have bought into the lifestyle of going far from our homes to make a living. According to Gallup polls the average american commute to and from work is around 30 minutes 1. What does this mean? Depending on where you live and the density of the population. 30 minutes could place you quite a ways from home. At a conservative interstate speed of 60mph you’re looking at a 30 mile walk to get home. At the very least you would be looking at some segment of that hypothetical 30 miles to reach aid. Consider for a moment your average walking activity during the day. Are you purposely walking a distance each day? Or is it a broken string of movement between cups of coffee, and fetching things from the printer? On your way from the coffee maker to the printer are you carrying a pack? Even if you do go for a structured walk each day, is it under a load?
Now imagine, standing in the parking lot at your job and needing to get home? Do you have the gear? Are you prepared to make the walk? If you cannot picture, or have not at least entertained the idea of walking home don’t worry, you are not alone. We are pretty fortunate to live in an age where most things can be summoned by the wave of our fingertips.
There is a couple ways to look at this, you could take the road that many do and not concern yourself with it at all. You could reason that there is no situation where you would not have your cell phone to summon assistance. You could even go hog wild and invest thousands in store bought systems for self preservation, store that stuff in your car and never need it. There are a million different stopping points along the spectrum between complete apathy to the situation, and they are here to make your reality TV show. I maintain that the solution lies somewhere in the middle.
What if you took a half hour, 30 minutes. The same amount of time that you and I, and most of the US devote to getting to work. What if you took that time to build a simple system. Something similar to an insurance plan, except it won’t drain your wallet.
Start with a backpack. Literally ANY backpack will work to start. The next step is to take a trip through your day. Start at the point where you leave your house. When you walk through your day in your head, travel through it with a “what if” attitude. Allow yourself to look at things differently than you normally would. The system you are building is only for when you are away from you home. The only thing this system has to do is get you home. That’s it. Nothing more.
The other side of this process is to find the other end of the system you are building. What I mean by that is where does the system go on the other end of your commute? So for example. The system will cover you from when you leave your front door, to when you get out of your car at work. Will the system go into work with you? Will the system go into the grocery store with you? The Doctors Office? All of these considerations will determine what you can place into your system, and ultimately it’s capabilities.
Next week I’ll go through an example system and dive into a little more detail about the filler for that backpack.
Until next time…
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